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Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
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Hi, I need an arborist or tree expert. I live on a mucky creek

Customer Question

Hi, I need an arborist or tree expert. I live on a mucky creek that runs mostly through rural and farm land but also some residential areas as well. Most of our neighbors have had access to flood irrigation for years which they use to water their lawns and trees and alfalfa fields. My 1-acre hilly lawn does not lend itself to flood irrigation and the previous owner used a typical cullinary water sprinkler system-which is quite expensive in the summer months. We have recently been granted permission from the state to pump water directly out of the creek. I am considering pumping the creek water through my sprinkler system but I was told by a neighbor that trees can die if creek water is sprayed directly onto the leaves. Is this true? I have Aspen, Russian Olive and various fruit trees. Should I have the water tested and would this agency know if and what impurities would be harmful to trees?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  GeneralistWindylen replied 2 years ago.

windylen :

Thank you for your question, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I am happy to assist you today. May I know your location, so I can find an agency nearby your place?


600 East 11675 South Draper Utah 84020

windylen :

Alright, thanks for that. Will work on this and post my answer soon.

windylen :

Hi! Here are some of the Certified Arborists near your place. Park City Arborist ( Keith Clapier )(NNN) NNN-NNNN Apical Environmental Consulting, LLC ( Dutch Plante )(NNN) NNN-NNNN( )

Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.

In most areas of the country, creek water is safe for watering trees. In some cases, a creek may be contaminated with herbicides from farm fields, and in that case, the water could be harmful. Spraying any water directly on the leaves is not a good way to deliver water. The water evaporates quickly and encourages the trees to lose even more water through transpiration. Most of the water is wasted and does the tree no good. Water needs to be made available to the roots. The best way to do that is with some form of trickle irrigation or soaker hoses.

The first thing you need to do is find out if the water from the creek may be too contaminated by runoff. You may not have to pay anyone to tell you that. Your County Extension Agent may be able to help. This is a government program and there is no charge for their services. Here is information for the Extension Service in Salt Lake county:

Salt Lake County
2001 S. State Street S-1200
Salt Lake City,NNN-NN-NNNNbr/>(801)(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr/>
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm

and for Utah county:

Utah County
100 E. Center St. Rm. L600 (L400 for 4-H)
Provo, UT 84606
(801)(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr/>
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm

I would call them on Monday and inquire about the process to find out if the water is safe. After that, you'll have to decide on the most efficient method of watering the trees. If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your irrigation problems will quickly be solved.


P.S. While it doesn't really apply to your original question, another expert has suggested that you might want to consider a RAM pump to save on your electrical bill.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Anna, I'll call the county Monday and see if they can analize the creek water. My intention is to water the lawn with the rainbirds but I dont want to kill the trees while doing so. I imagine some tree species are more suceptable to polutants applied to their leaves than others. The flood irrigation water does not seem to harm the trees in the area when flooded but I dont know any neighbors that pump creek water through the sprinklers.
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
Actually, the flood water should be just as contaminated (or even more so) than the creek water. Chances are the creek water is fine, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 9660
Experience: Great research skills, variety of work experiences, teaching experience.
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